No Shopping: Turning a Corner

We ate the last of our pretzels around April 2. Pretzels are a favorite snack for all three members of my family. There will be no more pretzels this month unless I make some, because I’m not buying them. If I want a quick salty snack, I can make some popcorn or eat any of the four types of salty crackers that we have in the pantry. The pretzels ain’t happening. And it’s a little weird.

My son stopped asking for pretzels about 2 days ago, but it’s only hitting me now just how long a month April is bound to feel. I mean, sure, I could go buy a bag of pretzels, but we have four types of salty crackers and we should be eating those up first. Plus, it wouldn’t be in the spirit of this project to break down and pick up a bag.

I’m starting to turn a corner at this point in the month, and my eating habits have shifted in the last couple of days. I’ve eaten two dinners this week consisting of salads with nuts, dried fruit, some goat cheese leftover from work last week and a mustardy dressing that’s been sitting in the fridge door a little too long. I normally cook with the intention of creating lots of leftovers, but right now I’m trying to use up more odds and ends of things where there’s only enough on hand to create a single meal. It means I am cooking more often, and I’m starting to have to work a little harder to figure out what I want to make and how to make it happen with what’s in-house. One week isn’t nearly enough to feel an impact from no shopping–one month seems like it’s more realistic for somebody as stocked as we are.

We have a guest with us this weekend, and I’ve taken stuff out of the freezer and then put it back in twice already as I’m trying to decide what to cook while she’s here. I’m definitely doing a chicken breast, probably stuffed with some odds and ends and then coated in some of the huge quantities of Panko in the pantry before pan-frying and finishing in a hot oven. I’d like to stuff it with a package of frozen spinach combined with some sun-dried tomatoes and the last of the goat cheese, but I may change my mind on that. I’d rather have mushrooms with the goat cheese, but I used up my fresh mushrooms in last night’s stir-fry and the dried ones from the pantry seem too leathery in texture to work well in the delicate chicken breasts.

The vegetable supply is getting low, too. I used up the last of the broccolini, a third of a partially-used head of cabbage, an onion, some garlic and ginger, the salad greens, a red onion, and the last of the peppers over the last 2 nights. I picked up some cucumbers along with apples, bananas and a loaf of my son’s bread yesterday (spending about $14). I’m thinking of making another Costco run tomorrow for milk, fruit and vegetables.

I’m also starting to think ahead to my son’s birthday party in a couple of weeks. My hope is that I can get away with buying burgers, dogs, buns, candy for the goodie bags, and some eggs to make cake with (we’re getting low). This will be my only exception for this month, so I’m kinda looking forward to it.

Despite all that, I don’t feel like I head to the store any less often than I was before the month began. I still end up stopping by every 2-4 days because we go through so many fruits and vegetables and so much milk. Each trip is much quicker and cheaper though!


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